Corporate America has gradually warmed up to social networking this past year, as companies have discovered the benefits of advertising on popular online services like Facebook.
But Hearsay, a start-up co-founded by ex-Google/Salesforce.com alumni Clara Shih, thinks companies can also benefit by making their employees interact more on social networks.
Hearsay helps corporations that have multiple local outlets, from coffee chains to insurance firms, communicate with customers on Facebook, LinkedIin and Twitter — a company can distribute pre-approved marketing promotions to local store managers or agents, who can then customize it and broadcast it to their networks of friends, for example.
And for companies with regulatory issues surrounding customer interactions, such as financial services firms, Hearsay offers special features like message archiving.
Hearsay announced on Thursday that it has raised $3 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital, but according to Shih the company is already cash flow positive thanks to a roster of corporate clients that have already been using its service, including Farmers Insurance, State Farm and 24 Hour Fitness.